While asserting there is no natural gas crisis and labelling such reports unfortunate, Energy Minister Stuart Young has called on upstream gas suppliers to maintain a steady supply to national aggregations and the overall value chain.
Young made the comments at National Gas Company's (NGC) Asset Integrity Report at the Hyatt Regency in Port of Spain on Tuesday.
He explained that upstreamers such as Shell and BP would pull resources from the ground, and send the gas to the NGC or Atlantic LNG, where it would be processed and sent to downstream companies such as ammonia or petrochemical companies.
But he added that the priority for TT’s natural gas is to fuel power generation, which means that lower production from upstream would affect the downstream companies.
“If you have ten molecules coming from the upstream and you have ten in the middle, and the upstream (production) drops to five, then the maths wouldn’t maths, no matter how you sell it.”
The International Gas Union’s 2022 report indicated that TT had a reduction in production of LNG of 3.9 million tonnes (MT) owing to domestic gas shortages and a lack of backfill projects.
In January the Energy Chamber pointed out six major points to increase gas production, including reforming upstream tax systems to incentivise investment, speeding up the bid rounds and approval processes, diverting gas through energy efficiency, investing in reducing carbon intensity of operations and products, and encouraging innovative approaches to small-field development.
Speaking to the media after his speech, Young said there was no shortage of LPG or any other form of natural gas. He rubbished reports in a newspaper of an impending cooking-gas shortage amid shutdowns of specific plants.
“There is absolutely no natural-gas crisis. At no point in time was this responsible for anything to do with LPG. What you have heard this morning was about asset management.”
On Sunday, a local newspaper reported that an electrical fire at bpTT’s Mahogany hub and other mechanical issues at its Cassia C platform, along with shutdowns at several plants, threatened a “full-blown energy crisis.”
PPGPL and NGC immediately dismissed the reports, saying the shutdowns were part of a maintenance project that had been planned for a year.
Young said added that in the planning they ensured there was a sufficient supply of cooking gas in storage.
PPGPL president Dominic Rampersad said in a subsequent report as the shutdown was planned, it had been building up its inventory to ensure it could maintain a supply to the local market. He said the shutdown began on April 17 and is expected to be completed in 19 days.
He added that PPGPL now has a 28-day supply of cooking gas.
PPGPL total production is 10,000 barrels per day, which goes to both its local and export markets.